Wilmington boys ‘amp up’ for win
Wilmington (57) Vs. Sharpsville (48)
Jan 03, 2014
The Greyhounds rebounded from a two-game losing streak over the Christmas break with the road District 10, Region 2-AA victory.

Wilmington (1-0, 5-3) dropped a triple-overtime thriller to Union in the opening round of the Union Athletic Boosters Holiday Tournament and also lost to Laurel in the consolation game of the tourney last week.

“Going into the Christmas tournament, we expected to play better than we did,” Wilmington coach Mike Jeckavitch said. “Maybe it humbled us and we realized we needed to do a better job on defense and rebounding. We need to stop the dribble penetration better. We’re taking the one-game at a time focus now and right now, we’re focusing on Lakeview Saturday.”

The ’Hounds turned up the defensive pressure in the second quarter to extend a four-point lead after eight minutes into a 37-26 cushion at the break.

“We amped up our pressure,” Jeckavitch said. “We went more to a full court man-to-man and got some easy transition baskets that extended our lead. Plus, we went 9-of-10 from the foul line in the second quarter. When we get freebies, we’ll take ’em any time.”

Wilmington focused on attacking the basket offensively and failed to make a 3-pointer for the first time this season.

“We didn’t play particularly well,” Jeckavitch said. “We didn’t shoot very well. We didn’t have any three’s when I think we shoot the three fairly well.

“I challenged the guys to get to the rim more. We kind of struggled in the Christmas tournament, because we were settling for shots. I thought the kids did well at getting to the rim tonight.”

The Blue Devils (0-2, 3-6), who are coached by former Neshannock mentor Jim Smiley, limited Wilmington’s leading scorers Rocco Fagan and Jordan Smith eight and five points, but the rest of the Greyhounds starters compensated for the missing points.

Jesse Hilliard paced Wilmington with a game- and season-high 17 points, while freshman Spencer DeMedal added 11 markers and six steals. Travis Brumbaugh also reached double figures with 10 points and handed out five assists.

Fagan pulled down eight rebounds, while Smith tacked on six caroms.

“They shut down two of my better scorers tonight,” Jeckavitch said. “Jesse, Travis and Spencer stepping up and scoring like they did makes us really tough to stop. I think we have the third, fourth and fifth guy. We’re a complete team. If one’s not scoring, we’ll move onto the next guy.

“Over the past week, we talked to Jesse about being the third guy (behind Rocco Fagan and Jordan Smith). We told him you’re going to make everyone’s life easier if you look to score more. He didn’t finish the way he’d like to tonight. I knew when Spencer was coming up from eighth grade that he was something special. We’ve thrown him into the fire and he hasn’t backed down from the challenge. He’s very mature for being a freshman and I’m excited to see what he’ll become.”
Nightly Roundup
Jan 03, 2014 Nightly Roundups
Game Scoreboard
Wilmington 14 23 12 8 0 57
Sharpsville 10 16 14 8 0 48
Box Scores
Kyle Kennedy 7 1-1 15
Tanner Morris 1 0-0 2
Sage Berringer 7 0-0 15
Bradley Calleya 1 0-0 2
Dayne Smith 2 0-0 4
Greg Popatek 5 0-0 10.
Totals: 23 1-1 48.

Josiah Bloise 1 0-0 2
Jesse Hilliard 7 3-4 17
Rocco Fagan 2 4-5 8
Travis Brumbaugh 4 2-2 10
Jordan Smith 2 1-1 5
Dan Danus 1 0-0 2
Spencer DeMedal 4 3-4 11
Derek Nichols 1 0-0 2.
Totals: 22 13-16 57.
SHARPSVILLE 10 16 14 8 — 48
WILMINGTON 14 23 12 8 — 57
3-point goals — Sharpsville 1 (Berringer 1).
JV score: Wilmington 48, Sharpsville 40. High scorer: W — Anthony Berardi 17, Derek Nichols 10.

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